Posted in Blog Blitz, Science Fiction

Dead Moon Keith Crawford #BookTour @keithcrawford77 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #DeadMoon #excerpt

Humanity will be extinguished in less than seven days.

Wing Commander Jude Styles is a Starfighter Pilot trying to get pregnant before the world ends. Her wingman, Hamid Ashkami, just wants to block the spam messages he is receiving from someone claiming to be his dead ex-husband.

Instead, they are locked in a media tour, shown off as the heroes that stopped the alien invasion by destroying the massive mothership known as the “Dead Moon”, persuading the masses that all will be fine if they keep calm and carry on.

Trapped telling the same lies, driven over the edge by post-traumatic stress and the constant flow of alcohol, it is only a matter of time before Jude and Hamid break down – and the fragments of the Dead Moon have already begun to fall from the sky.

Amazon UK

Excerpt from Dead Moon – Keith Crawford.

—Hamid…

—I’m concentrating.

—Hamid, we’ve got visitors.

—Still concentrating.

The Ferals had downgraded from vans to pickup trucks, which were about as appropriate to Yorkshire weather as Bermuda shorts and nice pink snorkels. The figures in the back were wrapped up in as many layers they could manage, looking miserable under hoods that didn’t keep out the rains, and failing to protect their weapons from the drizzle. Still, it wasn’t accuracy of fire that would kill Jude and Hamid. Mere weight would do.

—It’s okay. Just our Feral friends. I’ll go deal with them.

—Jude, please don’t kill anybody.

I’m going to hell anyway. I fought in the Indies. I helped nuke Mars. I’ve killed a lot of people. I mean, if there is a God in heaven, then there’s no forgiveness for people like me.

—I don’t think killing Ferals counts, Jude said out loud. —They’re hardly alive to begin with.

—Nice, Jude, stay classy. Get me time! Oh, and maybe, while you’re at it, take one alive.

—Why would I…? No. No way.

—Come on, Hamid said with a grin. —Desperate times call for desperate measures.

—That’s low, even for you. I’m not going to kidnap and rape a Feral.

—Technically it’s not…

—Quiet time now, Hamid. I thought you were supposed to be concentrating.

The last pickup pulled up. A man in a white parka climbed out through the passenger window to stand on the roof of the van. To Jude’s mind, he may as well have had a target on his chest. He was carrying a shotgun, the same sort of weapon that had killed the two soldiers, and a loudspeaker.

—Attention, intruders! Give us the one of you who killed John-lad, and the rest of you can go free.

—How the f**k are we supposed to know which one was John-lad? Jude muttered. The boy with the dreadlocks? One of the idiots who had tried to ambush them in the layby? Clearly, amongst their recent casualties was someone the w**ker with a loudspeaker cared about enough to round up a posse. How thoroughly un-British, she thought, with a tinge of damaged national pride.

—Hamid, if they notice your speeder, they’ll shoot it up.

—We’ll take another.

—We are not losing your dream speeder to these pricks.

Hamid came swiftly away from the screen, glanced out of the window, counted the Ferals in a flash, then went straight back to the computer.

—Okay. We can’t risk any shots coming up here and damaging the equipment. I need you to create us a nice big distraction so I can get the data and we can get out of here.

—What data… no, doesn’t matter. Nice big distraction coming up.

There was a sudden rattle of gunfire from outside. One of the Ferals had spotted Hamid in the window, gotten overexcited, and managed to put half a magazine through the side of his pickup. Another Feral was beating the first’s head in with the butt of his rifle. The Feral leader, still trying to sound like he was in control, quickly covered.

—That was just a warning. You’ve got five minutes to come out or I’m blowing up the whole damned building.

—With what, harsh language? Jude glanced through the corner of the window. It was all well and good saying she would make a distraction, but that meant she had to come up with one.

The Feral leader opened a case in the back of his pickup and took out a shoulder-mounted Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher.

—Oh shit, Jude said.

The Feral squeezed the trigger.

Keith Crawford

Dr Keith Crawford is a retired naval officer, disabled veteran and qualified barrister with a PhD in Law and Economics. After years of crazy adventures, from speedboats and aircraft to theatre and lecturing at Sciences Po, my French wife and I decided it was time to properly settle in Paris and have babies. Being the good feminist I try to be, I quit my job to look after the kids, support my wife’s career and write books. Each time I get offered a job my wife says “stop looking at jobs and get back to writing books.” Which shows, with marriage as with everything else, it is better to be lucky than good! Dead Moon is my second novel. The first, Vile, a science-fantasy about toxic-patriarchy, the evils of aristocracy and swordfights, is available on Amazon.

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Posted in Blog Blitz, Science Fiction

Dead Moon Keith Crawford #BlogBlitz @keithcrawford77 @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #DeadMoon

Humanity will be extinguished in less than seven days.

Wing Commander Jude Styles is a Starfighter Pilot trying to get pregnant before the world ends. Her wingman, Hamid Ashkami, just wants to block the spam messages he is receiving from someone claiming to be his dead ex-husband.

Instead, they are locked in a media tour, shown off as the heroes that stopped the alien invasion by destroying the massive mothership known as the “Dead Moon”, persuading the masses that all will be fine if they keep calm and carry on.

Trapped telling the same lies, driven over the edge by post-traumatic stress and the constant flow of alcohol, it is only a matter of time before Jude and Hamid break down – and the fragments of the Dead Moon have already begun to fall from the sky.

Amazon UK

Keith Crawford

Dr Keith Crawford is a retired naval officer, disabled veteran and qualified barrister with a PhD in Law and Economics. After years of crazy adventures, from speedboats and aircraft to theatre and lecturing at Sciences Po, my French wife and I decided it was time to properly settle in Paris and have babies. Being the good feminist I try to be, I quit my job to look after the kids, support my wife’s career and write books. Each time I get offered a job my wife says “stop looking at jobs and get back to writing books.” Which shows, with marriage as with everything else, it is better to be lucky than good! Dead Moon is my second novel. The first, Vile, a science-fantasy about toxic-patriarchy, the evils of aristocracy and swordfights, is available on Amazon.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Noir, Novella, Science Fiction, Short stories

The Hidden Girl and other stories Ken Liu 4* #Review @kyliu99 @HoZ_Books #TheHiddenGirl #KenLiu #BookReview #BlogTour #HeadofZeus #shortstories #scfi #fantasy #folklore #MondayBlogs #MondayThoughts #MondayMorning

From a Tang Dynasty legend of a young girl trained as an assassin with the ability to skip between dimensions on a secluded mountain sanctuary to a space colony called Nova Pacifica that reflects on a post-apocalyptic world of the American Empire and ‘Moonwalker’ Neil Armstrong, award-winning author Ken Liu’s writings are laced with depictions of silkpunk fantasy, Sci-Fi and old Chinese folklore, wrapped up in a mesmerising genre-bending collection of short stories.

Ken Liu is one of the most lauded short story writers of our time. This much-anticipated collection includes a selection of his latest science fiction and fantasy stories over the last five years – sixteen of his best – plus a new novelette. In addition to these seventeen selections, The Hidden Girl and Other Stories also features an excerpt from book three in the Dandelion Dynasty series, The Veiled Throne.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Head of Zeus in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Science-fiction and fantasy are not my favourite genres. Science-fiction is often too abstract and difficult for me to engage with. Fantasy, such a personal concept. If you don’t appreciate, what the author is trying to convey, it’s hard to enjoy.

Despite, this I was asked to review this book. I enjoy reading short stories, and I am always willing to read the work of authors I am unfamiliar with, so I agreed. I didn’t read this book cover to cover, it’s a book that you can dip into when you’re looking for something different to read.

Not surprisingly, I find some of the concepts in the science-fiction stories challenging, but the underlying themes of the dangers technology present for humanity, as well as its benefits, is something I understand. The idea that if technological advance continues at the rate it grew in the late twentieth century, and this century, to date, humanity, as we know it, may be lost. Which is disturbing for anyone who values the diversity and fallibility of humans. Many of the stories are dark, they offer little hope, but when you look around the world you live in, you can see where the inspiration for these stories comes from.

The fantasy stories, of which the title story is one, were easier for me to understand. They are strange and reminiscent of stories passed down through the generations in all cultures. I like these. The quality of the writing, the imagery and the detail are beautiful, as is the physical book and cover.

This is a book that can be read many times, and the reader will see something in the text that they missed before. An interesting experience, that I will enjoy again. Recommended for lovers of fantasy and science fiction, and those, like me who like to read something original and challenging.

Ken Liu

Ken Liu is an American speculative fiction writer and the winner of the Nebula, Hugo, Locus, World Fantasy, Sidewise, and Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation Awards. The son of a pharmaceutical chemist and a computer engineer, Ken emigrated to the US with his mother and father at the age of 11. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in English Literature and Computer Science and later attended Harvard Law School.

Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Ken worked as a software engineer, corporate lawyer, and litigation consultant. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series, The Dandelion Dynasty, in which engineers play the role of wizards. His debut collection, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories have been published in more than a dozen language and his short story Good Hunting was adapted for an episode for Netflix’s science fiction web series Love, Death and Robots.

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Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Travel

A Crown in Time Jennifer Macaire 4* #Review @jennifermacaire @AccentPress @rararesources #BlogTour #TheTempusUTimeTravelSeries #timeslip #historical #timetravel #TheCrown #France #Tunis #TheCrusades #SCFI #Giveaway #BookReview #FridayReads #FridayMotivation

#ACrownInTime

In the far future, a convicted criminal is given a chance at redemption. 

Her mission? To save the crown of France by convincing a young noble not to join the ill-fated Eighth Crusade.

But nothing goes as planned, and Isobel finds herself accompanying a hot-headed youth on his way to fight the infidel in Tunis: a battle Isobel knows is fated to be lost.

From the rainy villages of medieval France to the scorching desert of Tunis – Isobel faces her destiny and tries to fulfil her duty, knowing she can never return to her time, knowing that a wrong move can doom the future, or doom her to be burned as a witch.

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#BlogTour

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

I haven’t read any previous books in this series. The concept of time travel and the future world, Isobel comes from, is understandable. The historical setting has a good sense of place and time. It is atmospheric and vividly described.

Isobel is a corrector, sent back to the correct history, inadvertently altered by another time traveller. She has nothing to lose. Emotionally damaged after she killed a child in a car accident, she knows that failure means death. Success means life can continue, but in the time zone where she is. Isobel can never go back.

The story is told from her first-person point of view, but even when she witnesses the horrors of the time, her reactions are superficial. Her lack of emotional depth is apparent. Possibly due to her past life experiences. She is hard to empathise. Many of the relationships, whilst acceptable in the middle ages, seem wrong from a 21st-century viewpoint, but they do make the story authentic, despite its fantastical premise.

The sense of adventure, albeit misguided comes across well in this story. The plot cleverly interweaves fact and historical fiction. A considered and well-written time travel story with strong, vibrant characters and a fast-paced plot.

#JenniferMacaire

Jennifer Macaire is an American living in France. She likes to read, eat chocolate, and plays a mean game of golf. She grew up in upstate New York, Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. She graduated from St Peter and Paul High School in St Thomas and moved to NYC where she modelled for five years for Elite. She went to France and met her husband at the polo club. All that is true. But she mostly likes to make up stories.

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Giveaway to Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate  (Open INT)

Click on Giveaway link to enter

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Giveaway link above.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for the fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Posted in Book Review

The Break Line – 4* Review – James Brabazon

Officially Max Mclean doesn’t exist.

The British government denies all knowledge of the work he does on their behalf to keep us safe. But Max and his masters are losing faith in each other. And they’ve given him one last chance to prove he’s still their man.

Sent to a military research facility to meet a former comrade-in-arms, Max finds the bravest man he ever knew locked up for his own protection. His friend lost his mind during an operation in West Africa. The reason? Absolute mortal terror.

Max is determined to find out why.

Ahead lies a perilous, breathtaking mission into the unknown that will call into question everything that Max once believed in.

Acting alone, without back-up, Max lands in Sierra Leone with his friend’s last words ringing in his ears: ‘They’re coming, Max. They’re coming . . .’

Amazon UK

Amazon

 

My Thoughts…

I thought this book would be a military-themed political thriller, in many respects it is. The early part of the story is easy to read, an introduction to Max, the main character, who undertakes the narrator role as it’s written in the first person. The early part of the book disseminates essential clues and facts. The last part of the story, concentrates on Max’s mission, it may be his last if he doesn’t deliver, but the dangers he faces and the horrors he endures and witnesses may take his life, not just his career.

This second half of the story fuses the literary genres. Military thriller merges with paranormal and science- fiction and the resultant prose produces haunting, horrific images in the reader’s mind. Is Max delusional, is this an out of world experience or is this something more sinister? There are no clues here, but if you enjoy your thriller’s twisty with graphic imagery, this one will satisfy your cravings.

Fast-paced and full of action driven, adrenaline-fuelled scenes, this story holds your interest. The secret Max discovers places this novel firmly in the 21st century and takes the concept of biological weaponry to another level. Max is an edgy, driven character with a dark past and family issues, his emotional character undergoes a radical change through the story, and he makes a good anti-hero.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin UK, Michael Joseph Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Posted in Book Review

3* Review: The Selection -Kiera Cass

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Blurb 2016- 2

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Buy Links 2016 -2

Amazon UK

Amazon

My Review

 

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

 

Dystopian Cinderella tale aimed at the Teen and Young Adult market. Told from America’s point of view, one of the selected, this portrays a young girl’s emotional journey, in rather unusual circumstances.
This is an introductory novel and mainly catalogues the first part of America’s journey as a ‘selected’. She is a likeable character, mindful of others feelings but definitely a free spirit. The other girls in the story have interesting personalities. There is a love triangle of sorts, which I guess will be explored later in the series.
This book has been around for four years and has attracted a phenomenal amount of very mixed reviews. Whilst, I’m not engaged enough to read anymore in the series, if you enjoy a modern day take on fairy tales with a definite dystopian setting, this should appeal.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Collins- Children’s via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 

The Selection by Kiera Cass

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

Kiera Cass

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Posted in Book Review

4* Review: Flawed -Cecelia Ahern

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BLURB

Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.

But then Celestine encounters a situation in which she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found FLAWED.

Cecelia Ahern depicts a society in which perfection is paramount and mistakes are punished. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything.

Buy Links

 Amazon

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My Review -1

Flawed (Flawed, #1)

Science fiction and dystopian stories are not my usual read but ‘Flawed, aimed at young adults is compelling. Celestine is seventeen. The story she tells is both innocent and horrific. The shocking events depicted in this story, are implied, rather than graphically described, making it appropriate for the intended audience. The society she lives in has strict moral rules that divide the population into ‘flawed’ and ‘perfect’.
The characters are complex and the world building realistic and vivid. The ideas explored in the story are not new, but the interpretation of them is original and well written, giving this story a wide appeal. The plot appears simple initially, but as the story progresses there are lots of twists and reveals that make reading the sequel to ‘Flawed’ a must. You need to know what happens next to Celestine.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Collins Children’s books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Flawed (Flawed, #1) by Cecelia Ahern

Cecelia Ahern

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Posted in Book Spotlight

Lockdown – Sami Sands

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Title: LOCKDOWN
Author: SAMIE SANDS
Series: AM13 OUTBREAK, BOOK 1
Cover Designer: DERANGED DOCTOR DESIGNS
Release Date: MAY 3, 2016
Publisher: LIMITLESS PUBLISHING

Blurb -2

Leah Watton’s practical joke has spiralled way out of control—all to impress a crush…

With a prank online video, Leah hopes to catch the attention of Jake Colton, a cute, blond-haired, blue-eyed co-worker she’s had a crush on for months. But instead of sending it to Jake, she manages to forward the clip to her boss—who buys every gory second.

When mass panic ensues, Leah learns the video is more than a staged act…

The government is calling the virus AM13. As the outbreak spreads, citizens are forced to stay indoors while they assess the gravity of the illness. Most people are quarantined in their homes, but Leah, Jake, and Leah’s best friend Michelle are some of the unlucky few who are stuck at work when the Lockdown occurs.

That’s where she first encounters one of the infected…

Aside from a contaminated woman devouring one of her co-workers, Leah has another problem. Does she do as she’s ordered and stay at work? Or should she disobey government orders and break free to reunite with her family?

She can’t go it alone—after all, Leah has none of the skills needed to survive—but with Michelle and Jake by her side, not even a contagious virus and a sea of the dead can keep her from…

Breaking out of the Lockdown…

Buy Links -2

Amazon
Amazon UK

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Author Bio -1

Samie Sands is a 30 year old freelance graphic designer who has recently decided to follow her lifelong dream and use her creativity in a new way by writing.

She has a degree in Media Studies and PR and has already had articles published in a number of e-zines, including one of the most popular pieces at Zombie Guide Magazine. She has also had a number of her short stories included in some very successful anthologies.

She lives in a small seaside town in the UK, but loves to travel to gain inspiration from new places and different cultures. To follow Samie’s work, please check out her website 

Links -1

Limitless Publishing 
Goodreads
Facebook 
Twitter

Posted in Book Review

3* Review: The Face Transplant – R. Arundel

18401521Mystery Thriller Blurb

Dr. Matthew MacAulay is a Facial Transplant Surgeon at a prestigious New York hospital. His friend and mentor, Tom Grabowski, dies under mysterious circumstances. Matthew is forced to investigate. He uncovers his friend’s secret. A new technique that allows perfect facial transplants. No incisions, no scars. The surgeon is able to transplant one person’s face to another with the perfect result. Tom was able to accomplish this monumental feat with the help of Alice, a supercomputer robot with almost human abilities. While trying to find the people responsible for murdering his friend Tom, Matthew realizes he is the prime suspect. Matthew must flee for his life with the help of Dr. Sarah Larsson, a colleague and reluctant helper who has a secret of her own. 

Mystery Thriller Buy Links Amazon UK
Amazon
Mystery Thriller My Review

This story launches right in with the action from the first line. It grabs your attention but to be honest, it was a while before I got used to the writing style. The plot is great, lots of twists and blind alleys and it moves on relentlessly there is no time to get bored.
The story relies heavily on introspection and thoughts and for some readers; this may detract from the complex plot. More dialogue would have told the same story more succinctly. The characters are interesting and most are easy to visualise.
The story’s theme is medical science fiction with a strong thread of conspiracy theory. If you like this genre this one is worth a read.
I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley